It’s going to come down to two teams for DeAndre Jordan; the Los Angeles Clippers, who he has played for since 2008, or the Dallas Mavericks, the team most interested in signing him and making it very clear all along. The New York Knicks? They want him, but they’re not going to get him.
While the Knicks sit and figure out why they’re a third and fourth option at best for most players, they will probably be satisfied with Greg Monroe and Arron Afflalo, but we’re digressing into subjects beyond this post. Lets focus!
So Jordan has played and developed with the Clippers. He still is a guy who gets his points (11.5 per game) just near the rim (takes 91.8% of his shots from within three feet of the basket), but he’s a much better defender than in the past, his net rating is fantastic (+11.8 when he’s on the floor) and he led the NBA in rebounds over the last two seasons, grabbing 15 per game in 2014-2015. He also led the league in rebounding percentage and defensive win shares.
The Clippers can’t afford to lose Jordan, who is after a max contract, because they don’t have the cap space to sign someone who is even close to being that influential, not having the cap space necessary, especially as they plan to sign Paul Pierce. Keeping Jordan means a lot of money going to the luxury tax, but Steve Ballmer is more worried about winning a championship than his tax situation.
The Mavericks need a center, badly. They need one because they don’t have any at the moment, and they also need a paint presence who can make a difference on both ends of the floor. Jordan might not create any spacing or stretch the floor, but small ball for an entire season is impossible, and Jordan makes up for his weaknesses in other ways.
So where does he end up? I guess it’ll come down to feeling more wanted and maybe championship prospects, with the latter obviously giving the Clippers the advantage.